I never think when I write; nobody can do two things at the same time and do them well. ~Don Marquis

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Ghost of Red Rover (Friday Flash 55)

The girl's locked in the outhouse,
a boy climbs a tree.

Hiding in the brambles,
two maybe three.

Merry-go-round twirls,
ribbons in her hair,

teeter-totter trembles
with a weight that isn't there.

A wistful wind whistles
through the lilac hiding place,

telling of those who huddled there
when they were young and scared.



This is a Friday Flash 55 for the G-Man. If you write a flash piece on Friday, let him know. This is written in rememberance of playgrounds with steel slides and wooden teeter-totters. Playgrounds that were a refuge and a curse, playgrounds that instilled bravery when we were young and scared.

25 comments:

Brian Miller said...

rather a haunting look at the playgrounds....ghosts of childrens past still lingering....an empty playground is one of the saddest things to me....i would rather see them out playing...great closing line in this...

and hey, thanks for reading both mine...smiles...you were the only one to do so...

Yvonne Osborne said...

Brian,
Thank you. I love seeing children at play, running, skipping, swinging....and I always read yours, even if I don't always comment. Both, yes, I like standing out:)

Other Mary said...

This speaks of the joys and the fears of childhood. Both are equally real and present, but as adults we often forget the fear and pain, and candy coat our memories. This is an honest piece Yvonne.

TALON said...

Oh, this brought back memories of simpler times when battles (real or imagined) were life and death and centering around the playground. Awesome, Yvonne!

Alice Audrey said...

I certainly feel the fear in the trembling of the teeter totter. But maybe I've been watching too much Supernatural on Netfix.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Mary,
Thank you so much. Seems we were on a similar field of thought this week.

Talon,
The playground was awesome yet frightening. Yeah...life or death did seem. Thank you.

Alice,
No, I don't think that's it.:) Thank you!

Mama Zen said...

You can't find a merry go round or teeter totter anymore. I love this.

G-Man said...

Yvonne...
You are so great at creating scenes from life, past and present. What an honor to have you play with the Friday Funfest crowd.
LOVED your Monkey Bar 55
Thanks for playing and sharing your great creativity, and have a Kick Ass Week-End

hedgewitch said...

Some of the happiest and also most isolated experiences of my childhood happened in those playgrounds, Yvonne, and you capture that beautifully here.Thanks for the memories.

Nara Malone said...

The ghost of childhood left behind. I had a favorite lilac bust to hide in too.

Heaven said...

I enjoy seeing playgrounds filled with children ~ I can imagine how fearful and awesome it can be to a young and scared child ~

grapeling said...

merry-go-rounds spinning ever faster... ~

Yvonne Osborne said...

Mama Zen,
I know. Just those ugly plastic "safe" monstrosities. Safe. Safe from fun.

G-Man,
The monkey bars! I forgot the monkey bars. Boy, those are waaaaay to dangerous for kids nowadays. Thank You. The honor is mine.

Hedgewitch,
Happy and isolated. Bingo. Thanks!

Nara,
I particularly loved the lilacs because they were big and woody. Good hiding places. Good to be safe.

Heaven,
Thanks. It's no wonder many playgrounds seem empty. What is there to play on?

Grapeling,
I remember getting on and off when they were spinning fast. Never fast enough. Never enough.

Thank you.




Glenn Buttkus said...

Oh the joys of play, when hearts were young & gay; but you remind us of the flip side of pre-adolescence, when fear clung to most of us like our shadow; the parent's warnings, teacher's rule, preacher's threats all manifested themselves viscerally; nice 55.

Mary said...

I do remember those steel teeter totters & those games of Red Rover. I find myself wondering how things were different then......and also why our parents never worried. I enjoyed thinking about this.

ramblingsfromamum said...

so many battles in the playground arena - the battle for supremacy on the swing, the monkey bars which sometimes follows through to adulthood. A poignant write.

Lydia said...

What a nostalgic and beautiful poem. Brought a tear when I read this:
teeter-totter trembles
with a weight that isn't there.
A wistful wind whistles
through the lilac hiding place,


We can never go back.....except when someone like you takes us there with her magic pen. :)

John (@bookdreamer) said...

Sad to think about the loss of play freedom that children have had since the 70,s

Gabriella said...

Very nice sweet and nostalgic 55! I really like the last two stanzas.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Glen,
Fear clung to the outskirts, sometimes intruding into the mainstream. But the teachers were always backed up by the parents. The teacher was always right. Thanks a bunch!

Mary,
They never seemed to worry about us, that's for sure. As long as the report card was good. And Red Rover was a favorite,even if you didn't get called over! Thanks!

Rambling,
I guess some of this does follow us into adulthood. Thank you!

Lydia,
Thank you so so much. I wish I did have a magic pen. If I did, I'd have an agent!

John,
My thoughts too. Some of them are teethered like a dog from the time they can walk, smothered and watched over and loved to death.

Gabriella,
Thank you so much!



Outlawyer said...

Yvonne, this is wonderful--you have caught the sense of absence and presence at once. It is very vivid, yet distilled. Thanks. K. (Manicddaily)

Anthony Duce said...

Took me back to childhood.
What fun:)

Yvonne Osborne said...

K.,
Thank you so much!

Tony,
Thanks!

Margaret said...

Teeter totters ALWAYS scared me as I was a tiny child and always my butt would go sailing off that board - I clung on that handle for dear life. I was also terrified of lilacs as the bees were always around them ( I was terrified of bees :) Ha . How did I survive.

Really enjoyed our trip down memory lane 55.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Margaret,
Thanks so much. The teeter totter was scary. I think that's why it was so much fun. I think it taught us all to have a little backbone. My sister was scared of butterflies! Thanks for sharing.